Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what? That phrase is ridiculous. Who lives under a rock, how stupid is that?
So like I was saying, unless you’ve been disconnected from Canucks land for the last 48 hours you know what’s going down. Jason Botchford and Elliotte Friedman dropped some pretty big bombs on Saturday night that started a series of unscheduled Trevor Linden interviews to control the napalm coming from all angles. One could say the Canucks Facebook relationship went from “in a relationship” to “its complicated”.
Linden maintains that Ownership (Aquilinis) and Management (Lindenning Group) see eye to eye and that any time you have guys signing the cheques, they’re going to want a bit of say in how their team is run; which is true. There’s no way a team doesn’t hear from it’s owners if things maybe aren’t going that perfect. At the same time, when the Canucks were rolling at the beginning of the Aquilini Era and you couldn’t find a ticket, they were finding ways to milk out more dollars from a “sold out” building.
No surprises here, this isn’t a new revelation by any means. Where the potential disconnect comes is if Ownership wants to be more involved than just signing overpriced 4th defensemen and bottom 6 forwards and they want to help restructure how the team is built.
You pay people to do that job, that’s why you’re rich. If Jim Benning wants to go in one direction and the Aquilinis another, well then, there’s a problem. Everything below those men becomes collateral damage: the coaches, players, trainers, EVERYTHING!
So which direction are the Canucks headed? Are they actually rebuilding on the fly? The simple answer is yes. The amount of rookies that have played a game this season for the team is now at 8 (Shinkaruk, Pedan, McCann, Hutton, Friesen, Biega, Virtanen and Zalewski). All of those kids have been given opportunities through injury, amazing play or waivers/separated shoulders. Realistically, 6 of those guys will stick, ok maybe 5; but it just shows that Benning, Linden and Willie D may just know what they’re doing.
By that note, this is just another year of building experience and slowly putting together pieces to eventually get back up the mountain. The problem with that is although Benning says he has no patience for losing, he’s sure taking his time with players that probably should be gone by now.
The perfect deal isn’t out there in the new NHL, but pawning off vets that can be useful elsewhere could net picks, prospects and heck CAP SPACE!
There are some contracts that need to be free. Jacob Markstrom is more than capable of being the starter here, Ryan Miller has been pretty good but he’s aging and his cap hit is pretty steep. Dan Hamhuis could be a great rental and someone like Andrey Pedan or Alex Biega can become a full time blue liner. Up front, its only a matter of time before Radim Vrbata is moved or walks and Hunter Shinkaruk is so ready to be an NHLer.
With just those few moves, there will be a thick amount of cash available on July 1 and I’m not saying Stamkos but guys like Milan Lucic and Cody Franson will definitely be interested in making a move home. Who knows, maybe Cole Cassels even pushes for a spot next season.
Over the next few weeks we may hear and see more about where this team truly is headed and if we need to pay more attention to what’s going on. The funny thing is, for whatever reason, making the playoffs last year all of a sudden gave us all hope that this year would be different, that the Canucks were somehow a contender again.
Aside from some homegrown new additions, not much has really changed. Same coaching style, same porous D and the scoring, well its pretty evident that’s taken a harsh nosedive to the bottom of the league. We expected this team to be great? Its the same story as before and for whatever reason we care more this year.
The Aquilinis may just in fact be starting a takeover of the Canucks but just like Facebook, the right situation can turn everything around and before you know it this will be a memory we’re reminded of in a year that the team will share with us and we’ll all have a good laugh about it.
We can get up in arms about who wants to be in control of this club but really, we all want the same thing, including Ownership; we all want the Canucks to be great again and is that really a terrible thing to ask?
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